2015 Team Options
Jordan Hill (declined) – This one was a no-brainer, as Hill clearly wasn’t worth the $9 million that his team option would have paid him. That’s not to say that he is a bad player, but his cap hit would have prevented the Lakers from having the opportunity to pursue max free agents.
Last season was a frustrating one for Hill, as his efforts to increase his range and a rise in minutes had a massive negative effect on his best skill: rebounding. His deal with the Pacers is for just $4 million, and hopefully the change of scenery will give him a chance to get back to doing what he does best. While it would have been nice to see the Lakers be able to retain him at such a cheap price, it was probably time to part ways.
Robert Sacre (exercised) – This was a tough call, as Sacre isn’t a great player, but he is a big body and solid locker room presence. At slightly less than $1 million for the season, on the surface it appeared sensible to keep the celebratory savant, even if only to use him as a trade piece down the road.
Unfortunately, Sacre’s true cost goes beyond his paycheck. He takes up a precious roster spot and with Tarik Black entrenched as Roy Hibbert’s backup, the Lakers would have been better off letting Sacre walk. With potential-laden Robert Upshaw still unsigned, but ready and willing to take the role of third string center, it was time to let Sacre move on. Instead, Kupchak was unable to get any value out of Sacre via trade, and is now stuck with a superfluous (but cheap) player clogging up an unbalanced roster.
CONTINUE SLIDESHOW: Grading Lakers’ 2015 free agency